I wrote yesterday about the lawsuit filed by 19 UC Davis students and recent graduates who were subject to pepper spraying, other police violence, and false arrest last November 18. The students are suing fifty-six university employees for violating their constitutional and statutory rights, but the list of defendants only has six names on it.
Why? Because only one of the dozens of police officers who participated in the attack on the protesters has been identified by the university.
It’s more than three months after the incident. Video of the day’s events has been shown over and over again throughout the planet. But UC Davis still won’t tell its students which of its campus police officers brutalized them.
In addition to the pepper-spraying, which was conducted by two officers, the lawsuit alleges that one student was thrown to the ground where his head struck a lawn sprinkler fixture. Another was pinned down after having been pepper sprayed. Another was dragged, handcuffed, to a police car. Another was “slammed to the ground,” kneed, and kneeled on, then denied medical assistance.
None of the officers who engaged in these acts, other than the two who were videotaped pepper-spraying students without cause, have been suspended. As far as is publicly known, all are still at UC Davis, working alongside the sixteen plaintiffs who are still students there.
And yet the faculty of the university, in a 645-343 vote, praised Chancellor Katehi last week as “a Chancellor who engages in a full and open dialogue with students, staff, and faculty,” saying that her resignation “would have devastating effects on the moral and academic standing of the campus.”
“It is time,” say the UC Davis faculty, “to promote a constructive healing process.” When will these professors call for transparency and accountability for the campus police?